Message from the Superintendent

December 16, 2022

In this Message

  • Board Meeting Organizational Meeting Highlights

  • 2022 Congressional App Challenge Winners

  • Warm Hands, Warm Hearts

  • Orange Emblem Donates to SUCSESS Students

  • Orange High School: 100/200 Building Farewell Tour

  • California School Dashboard

  • Universal Prekindergarten Meeting

  • Open Enrollment Begins January 17 for the 2023-24 school year!

  • Save the Dates: Community Showcases & High School Open Houses

  • Nominate an OC Parenting 2023 Top Teacher

  • Employment Opportunities

  • 2022-23 Health and Safety Plan

  • Winter Break COVID-19 Testing Schedule

Upcoming Events

  • December 19 – January 6: Winter Break

  • January 10 - Special Education Parent Workshop

  • January 16 - Martin Luther King Jr. Day/No School

Dear OUSD Community,

On Wednesday, the OUSD Board of Education held its annual organizational meeting, and four board members took the oath of office. Kris Erickson (Trustee Area 5), Rick Ledesma (Trustee Area 7), and Andrea Yamasaki (Trustee Area 1) were re-elected to serve for the 2022-2026 term. The Board also welcomed new Trustee Madison Miner (Trustee Area 4).

During the reorganization, the Trustees voted for Rick Ledesma to serve as Board President, John Ortega as Board Vice President, and Angie Rumsey as Board Clerk for the year.

The first meeting of 2023 will take place on January 19 at 7 p.m. The calendar of 2023 Board of Education Meeting Dates is online at

I wish you and your loved ones a safe, happy holiday season and a wonderful 2023!

Warmest Regards,

Gunn Marie Hansen

Superintendent of Schools
Orange Unified School District

2022 Congressional App Challenge Winners

Congratulations to Malia Tek, Daniel Dillon, and Vincent Chen for placing second in the 2022 Congressional App Challenge for California’s 45th Congressional District. Tek and Dillon, eighth-grade students at McPherson Magnet School, and Chen, a ninth-grade student at Canyon High School (and former McPherson student), designed an app that enhances school safety by alerting individuals and their emergency contact when a specific threat is detected. The students presented their app to Congresswoman Porter and received their award at a reception hosted by Congresswoman Katie Porter’s office in Irvine.

Warm Hands, Warm Hearts

The 5th annual Warm Hands, Warm Hearts program grew exponentially this year due to the incredible generosity of our Orange Community! Each December, the district gathers brand-new jackets and shoes for students who are homeless, in the foster care system, and in need of warm clothing items during the winter season.

This year, we surpassed our expectations and provided over 300 gifts of not only jackets and shoes but also personal hygiene items, toys, and socks. We are truly honored to be working in such a generous community.

In addition to the individuals who made this event possible, we would like to thank the following organizations for brightening the season for our students:

  • Elevate Ministries
  • Nika Nikopour Foundation
  • Cordoba Corporation

Orange Emblem Donates to SUCSESS Students

Orange Emblem, along with the Mayor and First Lady of Orange, delivered gifts for Palmyra Students and handed out special backpacks for our students in the SUCSESS Program.

Thank you, Orange Emblem, for your wonderful and amazing support for Palmyra students and Staff!

Orange High School: Administration/100/200 Building Farewell Tour

Opened in 1903, Orange Union High School was the first high school in the City of Orange. It was originally located at the corner of Palm and Glassell Ave., where Chapman University now sits.

In 1952, Orange High School moved to its new home at 525 N. Shaffer St., on the corner of Walnut and Shaffer. The first structure built was the administration office and 100/200 building.

The original building has never received significant renovations. It is soon to be demolished to make way for a new 26,000-square-foot building which will house administrative offices and student services and provide six new classrooms on the campus.

Construction will begin in January and continue for approximately two years. The facility is anticipated to open for students and staff early in the 2024-25 school year.

Important artifacts from both the original Orange High campus, which opened in 1903, and the existing building, which opened in 1952, will be preserved and incorporated into the new building.

All items in the current Townsend Room, including trophies, yearbooks, old newspaper articles, Fred Kelly memorabilia, etc., have been preserved and will be included in a display case within a new “Townsend Room.” Centennial and other plaques in and around the Townsend Room will be preserved and relocated to the new administration building.

Orange Union High School’s original cornerstone was saved and installed in the existing main office building in 1952. This stone will be removed from its current location and relocated to the new administration building. The 1952 cornerstone on the existing administration building will also be preserved.

The marquee located at the southeast corner of Walnut St. and Shaffer Ave., which was first installed in 1988, will be saved for future use.

Items that cannot be removed, such as murals painted on surfaces that will be demolished, have been photo-documented and will be provided to the school for their use.

We thank all those who came to the farewell to share their memories and enjoy a nostalgic walk through the old halls of Orange High school before we demolish the building to make way for new campus construction.

California School Dashboard

The 2022 California School Dashboard, restarted for the first time since 2019 and publicly available December 15, shows that California’s four- and five-year high school graduation rates hit all-time highs in 2021–22 while the state’s chronic absenteeism rate mirrored national trends. The Dashboard is a key component of the state’s school accountability system, which includes the latest data on graduation rates, suspension rates, test scores, English Learner progress, chronic absenteeism, and local indicators.

The four-year “cohort” graduation rate—which measures the number of students who started as ninth graders and graduated with their peers four years later—climbed to 87 percent, up from 83.6 percent in 2020–21. Every student group showed improvement.

The chronic absenteeism rate, which measures the number of students who missed 10 percent of the days they were enrolled for any reason, increased from 14.3 percent in 2020–21 to 30 percent in 2021–22, mirroring trends in other states for a year when schools continued to experience the effects of COVID-19 community surges on attendance.

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond and the California Department of Education (CDE) are working with districts to find solutions to counter chronic absenteeism. The CDE has put out guidance to give resources and best practices to school districts on ways to counter chronic absenteeism and will launch a new attendance webinar series in January.

More information about the California School Dashboard can be found on the CDE Dashboard Resources page.

Universal Prekindergarten Meeting

On January 11 at 5:00 p.m., we will be hosting a Universal Pre-K meeting at the District Office (1401 N. Handy, Orange).

If you have a child born on or before December 1, 2020, then this meeting is for you! Please CLICK HERE for more information.

Open Enrollment Begins January 17 for the 2023-24 school year!

Open Enrollment is for students who would like to attend an OUSD school other than their home school, which is assigned based on one’s area of residence. You may find your "home" school by entering your home address using the SchoolLocator:

The online applications for Open Enrollment will close on January 31 at 4:00 P.M. and re-open on February 06.

You may submit the online open enrollment application to as many school sites as you would like. Please submit one form for each school you are interested in having your child(ren) attend.

For more information, please visit

If you have questions about or need assistance with the Open Enrollment process, please get in touch with the Office of Student and Community Services at 714-628-5424.

Save the Dates: Community Showcases & High School Open Houses

Our community showcases will take place at our four comprehensive high schools and feature the elementary and middle schools within each Slice Family. Community members are also welcome to tour the new Science Center at each site.

  • Villa Park High School—Feb. 1 from 5:00-7:30 p.m. Elementary and middle from 5:00-6:00 p.m.
  • El Modena High School—Feb. 8 from 5:00-7:30 p.m. Elementary and middle from 5:00-6:00 p.m.
  • Orange High School—Feb. 15 from 5:00-7:30 p.m. Elementary and middle from 5:00-6:00 p.m.
  • Canyon High School—Feb. 22 from 5:00-7:30 p.m. Elementary and middle from 5:00-6:00 p.m.

Nominate an OC Parenting 2023 Top Teacher

Do you have a teacher at your school who does more than educate students? Who gets students excited about learning, teaches life lessons, is valued by parents, peers, administration, and students, and whose classes consistently rank among the top in test scores? Nominate him or her to be honored by Parenting OC in our upcoming March 2023 Top Teachers issue!


Employment Opportunities

Are you interested in a profession that makes a positive impact on our community? If so, please visit our website at to view a vast array of employment opportunities that span from entry-level to upper management, classified and certificated.

Employment Opportunities

Join the Orange Unified family and Inspire our learners of today to be purposeful leaders of tomorrow.

2022-23 Safety and Health-Driven Plan

Please be sure to check out our 2022-23 Safety and Health-Driven Plan, which outlines what we have implemented to keep our students and staff healthy in the new school year.

Winter Break COVID-19 Testing Schedule

LivingFit Nation and OUSD have partnered together to continue to offer COVID testing at the Orange Unified School District Office (1401 N. Handy, Orange) during Winter Break.


  • Monday, December 19, 2:00-5:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, December 20, 2:00-5:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, January 3, 2:00-5:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, January 4, 2:00-5:00 p.m.

Please follow the below steps to schedule your COVID-19 test:

  1. Use the Registration Link or QR Code to access registration for the event
  2. Complete the COVID-19 questionnaire, including all consent forms, and the time slot selection for each patient that will be tested
  3. Bring a copy of your insurance card and state-issued ID with you to the event
  4. Expect to receive your results within two days from the testing date via text message or phone call from the doctor. If you have yet to be contacted within two days, please email They will reply to your email with your results.

Additional Information

  • Cost to you: The US Department of Health and Human Services mandates that all PCR COVID tests have $0 cost-sharing (including all copays and deductibles).
  • OneHealth Telemedicine will collect your insurance information to bill your private insurance for the test. You will not be responsible for any costs that are not covered by your insurance plan
  • If you do not have insurance, OneHealth will collect your state ID and social security number to bill the CARES Act
  • If you receive an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) from your insurance company and have questions, please feel free to email

We invite you to take a moment to follow Orange Unified on social media to receive the District’s latest news and announcements. Social media may also be a critical line of communication during emergencies and will be an excellent place for you to get up to date information: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube